Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Days That Are Tough: LOVE is the ANSWER (and so are chocolates)

Today is one of those days.  You know the ones where you are just grouchy - and so are the kidlets.  I can rate how my day is going depending on how many oreos I'm popping.  Some moments we just fill to the brim with frustration.  Yet in those same challenging days, we have sweet, precious moments.  I just watched in awe as my cute dimpled red head toddled her very first steps.  My little boy with tears in his eyes came running for a hug after he got corrected for spilling milk and food all over the "kitchen floor," which is actually carpet, bright purple carpet I might add :)!  I loved snuggling up on the couch to read books and smiling at Bradyen blowing me lots of kisses as daddy carried him to bed.  We want to be wonderful mothers who love our kids unconditionally and who teach them and cherish them!  We want that vision but somedays it can just seem so challenging when our patience and energy tank is on low.  What do we do when we have lots of little dependents needing every ounce of our time and attention?  What do we do when the very kids we give our life to and love so dearly - drive us bonkers?!  I'm learning the key is to LOVE MORE.

In those moments, sometimes I say in my mind this little poem/prayer I memorized:

A Mother's Prayer
O give me patience when tiny hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
Give me gentle and smiling eyes 
and keep my lips from sharp replies.
Let not fatigue, confusion, or noise       
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.

For this love month, I've been reading "The Five Love Languages of Children" by Chapman and Campbell. The five love languages being: quality time, gifts, service, words of affirmation, and touch.  I've been so inspired by the emphasis how our children need to know of our UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.  To experience our love in their understanding and so very deeply that they don't doubt it - even when they are disciplined for misbehavior or they do things we don't like.  That's what Christ does - He corrects us because he loves us, and His love is always unconditional.  Whew, I've sure got loads to learn, but I am grateful for this great refining journey!

Here are two of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Unconditional love shows love to a child no matter what.  We love regardless of what the child looks like; regardless of her assets, liabilities, or handicaps; regardless of what we expect her to be; and, most difficult of all, regardless of how she acts.  This does not mean that we like all of her behavior.... A child's emotional tank must be filled before any effective training or discipline can take place."  Oh and check out page 21 - LOVE this.

"Even if your child's primary love language is not quality time, many children [I would think most] crave the undivided attention of parents." Quality time "means giving a child your undivided attention.... Few of us have enough time to do everything we need and want to; giving a child quality time may mean that we must give up something high on our list of preferences.  As children grow toward adolescence, they often require time just when we parents are exhausted, rushed, or emotionally out of sorts." Yet, giving of ourselves and our full attention "conveys this message: 'You are important.  I like being with you.'"

This afternoon I let out a great sigh of relief and utter exhaustion... My two kids were finally down for naps!  Wahoo!  Being in my isolated quarters, I needed some help and to know that I wasn't alone, that other mothers know it's hard sometimes.  So, I turned on a POWEROFMOMS.COM PODCAST from Saren, Shawni, & Linda about how "LOVE IS THE ANWSER".  Here are just some ideas that really stood out to me:

  • Convey "I LIKE YOU" (I like being with you.  I like who you are) as well as "I love you" (because I'm your parent). 
  • At night, watch your children's eyes light up as you talk about what good THINGS YOU NOTICED in them that day.
  • Set them aside somedays and write what they are good at - ONE ON EACH FINGER.  So, if you think a child is good at doing flips on the tramp write "F" on one finger and "B" on another if they are good at babysitting!
  • "LOVE MORE." When a child is misbehaving, think - he needs more love and attention (perhaps more sleep/food too!)
  • Many times our immediate reaction is  - you are driving me crazy! Or we just want to send them away.  Yet, when they are the most irritating, that's when you NEED TO LOVE THEM THE MOST. 
  • Explain WHY WE DO NOT DO SOMETHING - perhaps hit a sibling or take toys - because of LOVE.  WE are a family.  We love each other.  Jesus taught us how to love.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for blogging about our podcasts, Mindy! Love your blog. You should be one of our Power of Moms writers or trainers. Have you thought about it?